Nearly 70,000 People Went To ‘Camp Christmas’ At The Stanley Marketplace. We Don’t Know How Many Selfies Were Taken

Stephanie Wolf/CPR News
A Blucifer-inspired horse for the Off-Center immersive experience “Camp Christmas” coming together at Lonnie Hanzon’s studio in Lakewood on Oct. 11, 2019.

Nearly 70,000 people went to Denver Center for the Performing Arts' holiday spectacle of lights and Santa tchotchkes, "Camp Christmas", according to the theater organization.

The 10,000-square-foot, over-the-top installation, dreamed up by Colorado artist Lonnie Hanzon and created in partnership with DCPA’s Off-Center programming arm, ran from mid-November to early January at The Hanger at Stanley Marketplace in Aurora.

DCPA says 41 percent of attendees had never been to a DCPA event before, and “Camp Christmas” attracted a larger percentage of people from Adams and Arapahoe County than a typical DCPA show: 19.3 percent from Arapahoe County and nearly seven percent from Adams County. 

Off-Center curator Charlie Miller said the “attendance numbers exceeded our expectations.” 

“We didn’t really know what to expect for ‘Camp Christmas,’” he said. “It was a crazy new idea and we weren’t sure what the audience would make of it.”

Standard policy is not to share ticket revenue for an individual show, DCPA spokesperson said. But the theater organization did report that event-related spending by the audience was about $3.4 million dollars.

The “wild selfie palace” of Christmas decor was born out of Hanzon’s love of department store window displays during the holidays. Before the event opened, he told CPR News that he has special memories of touring those displays with his family when he was a kid.

“I would imagine that all the stoplights were actually part of the decorations because they were red, green and yellow,” he said. “I was just fascinated by all that light and magic, and I was one of those kids with their faces pressed against the glass of the department store windows.” 

So will “Camp Christmas” return? 

Miller said that’s still TBD. 

“We are going to take our time wrapping up this year, focusing on what we’ve learned and thinking through all the possibilities for the future of ‘Camp Christmas,’” Miller said. “Once we’ve figured that out, we will definitely let everyone know if we decide to bring it back.”